There are big name sailors by the truck load in L’Escala, Spain, this week for the Laser (ILCA) Masters’ European championships. Olympic medallists, past and current world champions from the Laser and other classes, and some real golden oldies.
Spain’s Jose Luis Doreste won an Olympic Gold medal in the Finn class back in the day, and won the Laser Great Grand Masters Worlds more recently in 2021. Englishman Tim Law is the current Great Grand Masters World Champion, having won with a race to spare in Mexico earlier this year.
Wolfgang Gerz of Germany is a past Finn Gold Cup winner, as well as picking up a few Laser Masters Championships too. In the serious golden oldies department there is the charming Peter Seidenberg from the U.S.A., well into his eighties and still sailing a Radial (ILCA 6).
The line up in both Standard (ILCA7) and Radial (ILCA6) is impressive.
There are 124 entries in the Standard fleet, from 19 nations, while the 139 Radials come from 17 nations. Surprisingly in the Standard rigs the Dutch with 29 entries out number the locals by nearly two to one. In the Radial fleet the Spanish hosts hold their own with 35 entries, ahead of the Dutch with only 18 entries.
Although it is the European Championships, there is a good smattering from the rest of the world, with Australia, Brazil, Canada, USA, Argentina and Mexico all represented. In age distribution the Grand Masters are strongest in both fleets, with 67 Standards and 50 Radials.
This is going to be a very hard fought regatta in all age groups and both rigs.